Businesses have always relied on wealthy investors to fund startups and expand their reach. Shark Tank is a reality show that offers the public a view on the relationship between entrepreneurs and investors during the most critical time they spend together, the initial pitch. Through interviews, some ranging more than an hour filmed, the entrepreneurs have a chance to entice a “shark” to invest in their idea.
‘Shark Tank’ interviews with the entrepreneurs
The seasons begin by interviewing and weeding out hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs to just under a hundred that will actually be able to pitch their idea on the show. In order to pitch these business owners, have to have a solid plan, product, and presentation to make it to the investors. Due to the excessive strain of the pitches, there is a certified therapist on-site after the show to evaluate wellbeing. Investors tend to give advice to the business owners, especially if they aren’t going to invest.
During the show, the contestants get to present their idea to the panel of investors. They may receive an agreement to fund their idea or may leave empty-handed. Each interview is filmed in its entirety as the pitch takes place. Nothing is missed even the devastating comments about the product or idea. However, due to run time, the public will not see the majority of the interview.
The interviews are reduced to 10 minutes
Even if an interview goes well, most of the interviews will not be seen by the public. Each episode has a set number of interviews that have to be presented and the agreements showcased. That does not leave a lot of time to show the slower aspects of the presentations. Filming can last over an hour for the presentation, but usually gets cut down to the most important and entertaining aspects of the pitch and the investor’s comments.
According to Business Insider, the televised segment only lasts 10 minutes. However, pitches have been known to last an hour and in founder Michael Tseng’s case over two and a half hours. The contestants are given complete attention and questions are answered. Time has to be taken in order to understand the investment opportunity and decide if it’s something the investor actually wants to spend their own money on.
While the Shark Tank cast is paid for their appearances on the show, the money they invest is their own. The investors have to take their time in the interview process because they know nothing about the businesses before the pitch is filmed. Not all aired agreements are actually followed through with, some entrepreneurs decline the deal off-stage.
Not all filmed interviews make it to the show
Sadly, if the pitch isn’t that exciting it won’t make it on air. Nearly 20% of the pitches are not aired because of a lack of drama. That doesn’t mean that they won’t get their investments or that they don’t have interesting pitches. They just have a low entertainment value or high technical content that the public doesn’t want to see.
Shark Tank strives to assist small business owners through the reality show process of interviews filmed for entertainment. The rejections from the investors range from kind to harsh and hurtful. However, there are thousands of businesses that are thriving because of their 10-minute televised pitch segment.
The hour pitch that the entrepreneurs present has to catch the investor’s attention because they are only one of six to eight interviews that day. Investors endure a grueling 12-hour day filming interviews, yet we only see a little more than an hour of their day.
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